Babur

Babur used to beat his wife, until he listened to a Talking Bible.

There was no one that stopped Babur.  Many Murle men beat their wives.  Ever since they got married this was a normal way of life for Babur and his wife.  The men didn’t know any better.

Babur, a 51 year old Murle, kept his family in control by beating his children and his wife. That all changed slowly as Babur and his wife began listening to the Talking Bible.

The Murle have a tradition in which men can only marry when they pay a bride price of several dozen cows. The most prized possession to a Murle man is his cows. A Murle man will give several dozen cows for a wife. He believes this gives him the right to dominate her and beat her into submission if necessary. 

The Murle social and cultural life is centered around their cattle. They breed them, use them for their bride’s dowry, eat their meat, drink their blood and milk, and sleep on their hides.

The Murle compose songs full of references to the herds captured in battle or raids from their neighbors. Raiding and stealing of cattle is a question of honor and valor. Every young man is given an ox by his father or uncle when he reaches the age of manhood. He spends hours singing to his special ox from which he takes his bull’s name.

Last year in July, Babur’s village was attacked by a neighboring tribe. Babur and his family ran from their burning house, grabbing only a few valuables, including their Talking Bible. He is thankful that all of his family escaped safely. Over 3,000 Murle were killed that day in Pibor. Many were women and children. Now Babur and his family are living as refugees.

Babur smiles and holds his Talking Bible while sitting in the refugee church where we met him.

Even so, Babur has joy and peace because he now knows God and is doing his best to live in His ways.  He listens to his Talking Bible every evening with his family and neighbors. Each night he has to tell his neighbors to leave and go home because they are so eager to listen and discuss God’s Word they want to stay in his home until late at night.

Babur was so excited about the Murle Talking Bible he received. He could not wait to tell us about how his life has changed since he began listening to the Bible.

He started out by telling us, “Before, when I had a misunderstanding with my wife, I would simply beat her.  Now I have discovered how God wants me to live with my wife and children.  I have learned much about respecting others.”

The Murle people have been accused for centuries of stealing children from the other tribes in the area, but the Murle say when the Dinka and Nuer tribes are facing hunger or drought they sell their children to them in exchange for cattle.  These children, as do the wives bought for cattle, become the Murle men’s possessions and are treated as slaves.

A young Murle cowherd tends his family's oxen.

Though Babur never bought any children from other tribes, the wife he bought with many cows has borne him 5 children. Babur used to treat his children the same way he treated his wife—he used to beat them, too!  Now he has put off his violent old self!

After listening to the Talking Bible, Babur changed, and so did his wife.  They came to believe and put their faith and trust in Jesus.  Now that Babur and his wife are new believers they treat their children differently.

Babur says they just started listening. As they listened, they “began to receive faith.”  He declares,  “Now we believe.”  They believe in God, Jesus Christ His Son, and what the Bible says. They believe because they heard God’s spoken Word in their own language through the Talking Bible. Your gift makes a real difference!

Babur often refers to his life “before” and “after” hearing God’s Word.  He is a different person now.  His whole family has become believers in Christ. By listening to the Talking Bible, many Murle, like Babur and his wife, to a fuller understanding of who God is and the depth of His love for them.

Many Murle families have received Talking Bibles.  But there are still many waiting.  Because of seasonal flooding that isolates them and their involvement in cattle raiding and violence with other pastoral tribes in South Sudan, it has been hard to get Talking Bibles to the Murle.

In most of the places where the Talking Bibles are being used, there is only one, maybe two Christians. Many who will listen to the Talking Bibles you provide will believe. Many times it is a family or even a whole village that gets to hear the Talking Bible you send. This will be their first time to hear the Good News about Jesus in their own language in a meaningful way. 

A gift of a Talking Bible will make a difference in their lives!